Since there’s so little actual campaign news, we now get meta-analysis of trivia. Meta-trivia tastes flat, has zero calories and no nutrients, and leaves a sour aftertaste. Flavors of campaign news, non-news, and meta-news:
- Actual campaign news. Positions that might influence your vote. For example, Hillary Clinton’s position on the Iran negotiations. Extremely rare at this juncture.
- Campaign non-news: The biggest news this weekend was not news. Everyone knew Hillary Clinton was running for president, so that’s not news. The obligatory article in every news outlet must say the announcement was “expected.” (Translation: “We wanted you to know we knew this ‘news’ is not actually news.”) But since the “news” was “expected” we get news about how the announcement was different from what was expected, which is meta-non-news. From the Times: the day’s focus was all on Mrs. Clinton, whose widely expected campaign announcement held a few surprises.
- Campaign meta-news: Rand Paul isn’t very smooth in his interactions with media, notably in interviews with female reporters. So the media has to do stories about how Rand Paul has problems with media.
- Not-really news. Hillary Clinton’s campaign has a logo with a red arrow in it. So let’s talk about what the logo means. The Journal, snarkily: It’s a shame Hillary Clinton wasn’t already running for president when we got sick. Her logo makes it easy to find the hospital. At least Edelman’s David Armano talks more about the logo than the talk about the logo.
- Meta-not-really news. Every article about the logo has an obligatory discussion about how everybody else is talking about the logo, just in case you thought the reporter wasn’t paying attention. Wired: Why Everyone Went Nuts Over Hillary Clinton’s New Logo. And The Times: Unveiled on Sunday afternoon, critics quickly scoffed at the logo, which was created by the global design giant Pentagram, as uninspired or overly corporate.
- Meta-meta-not-really news. My blog post that you’re currently reading about the articles about the discussion about the logo of the candidate who made her non-news announcement that everyone expected.
Short version: 10 months from the first nominating contest, there’s not much campaign news. Media abhors a vacuum, which generates bullshit in the place where news should go.
Cartoon: The Boston Globe
Cartoon: The New Yorker